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Stop The October Salon “Massacre!” (Belgrade, Serbia)

October 29, 2014

A group of artists and cultural workers called the October Salon Art Community, and the Belgrade Cultural Centre (KCB), organizer of the October Salon (OS), object to the manner in which the Belgrade city government decided to change OS into a biennial exhibition, instead of keeping the annual exhibition tradition as it has been for more than 5 decades.

The right-wing and neoliberal government of the city of Belgrade brutally performs so-called “austerity measures,” attacking directly public institutions and their programs, not spearing even successful ones with a long tradition.

KCB has stated that “the adoption of such a decision, without participation of the public and without democratic procedure, violated one of the fundamental principles in government- the principle of transparency in decision-making related to cultural politics and events of importance to the City of Belgrade”.
(from: http://www.seecult.org/vest/kcb-autokratska-odluka-o-os )

 

KCB started an on-line petition against this violent decision. Please support their struggle and sign the petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/296/205/552/p-e-t-i-c-i-j-a-za-ponitenje-odluke-o-promeni-statusa-oktobarskog-salona/?cid=FB_TAF

In an open letter, the October Salon Art Community is inviting local and international artists and cultural workers to protest against this act in order to stop it. Here is their letter:

http://www.seecult.org/vest/odbrana-oktobarskog-salona )

Stop the October Salon “Massacre!”
We, cultural workers and artists who built and created for years the artistic program in Belgrade – the October Art Salon, are inviting all local, regional and international participants of the October Salon and the wider international art community to stand up against the attack on Salon and and its existence.
We must fight back against cuts!
The October Salon is not a biennial exhibition!
The October Salon was held annually for more than five decades – it is a unique exhibition of art and culture that has its roots in the socialist reception of the European modernism.
The brutal annihilation of the unique space for art production in Belgrade, Serbia, wrongly attributed to the more nicely reformist mantra “austerity measures”, are recognizable unjust mechanisms, just in favor of few individuals and against public good for all the citizens in Serbia.
The October Salon is a public good.
We demand that the October Salon remains what it always was – a manifestation of the recent local, regional and international art production that takes place annually.
We ask the Belgrade city government to suspend immediately the decision of seizing the Salon.
Culture cannot be eradicated with arrogance and blind cuts!
Belgrade, 29th of October 2014.
October Salon Art Community

 

About / From the page of the October Salon:

http://www.oktobarskisalon.org/51/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=3&lang=en

 

The October Art Salon is a representative event featuring actual tendencies in the domain of visual arts, founded under the auspices of the City of Belgrade. It was established in 1960 as an exhibition of the best works in the sphere of fine arts. In 1967 it became an important review of the current trends in applied arts, too. Owing to its tradition of more then four decades, the October Salon represents an important segment in the study of the modern Serbian art of the second half of the 20th century. The Salon has become a point of reference of Serbian culture, a representative review of creators in the broad sphere of visual arts and a great exhibition of authors whose selectors are prominent experts in this area. In the course of its history, the Salon has changed its concept and organisational forms, but it has remained a strong challenge to creative consciousness.The Council of the Salon makes decisions on its concept. This Council consists of renowned experts in the sphere of visual arts (art historians, art critics and artists), appointed by the City of Belgrade. The Council selects the international Jury that gives three equal awards for the best art works exhibited at the Salon. An art director, who suggests a concept of the Salon, was appointed since 2001.

Curators of the recent October Salons were: Nicolaus Schafhausen and Vanessa Joan Müller, Branislav Dimitrijević and Mika Hannula, Galit Eilat and Alenka Gregorič, Johan Pousette and Celia Prado, Darka Radosavljević, etc..

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